We are taught and continue to teach younger generations about the travels of our ancestral beings through stories, songs, dances and ceremonies.
When we travel across our land, we can still see the physical evidence of our ancestral beings. We know they still exist in this land. Our deep knowledge of this land helps us manage it for conservation. This knowledge is part of Tjukurpa, our law, the foundation of our culture.
We would like to share some of our knowledge with you. In return we ask that you help to look after this place during your stay.
Every year on 26 October we celebrate one of the most important milestones in Australia's Indigenous history and our history - the handback of our lands.
2015 marks the 30th anniversary of handback. Click here to see the 2015 program for this important celebration.Click here to see talks on offer during handback.
Back in 1985 hundreds of people witnessed Australian Governor-General Sir Ninian Stephen present us traditional owners with the title deeds to Uluru-Kata Tjuta, at a ceremony at the base of the rock.
We then signed an agreement with the Australian Government to jointly manage Uluru-Kata Tjuta as a national park. This agreement became known as joint management and is still in place today. We have a board with a majority of traditional owners who oversee management of the park, always guided by Tjukurpa.
Handback was the result of a long land rights campaign by many of our elders to reclaim our rights to our own land. Since European exploration began in 1872 we had steadily been dispossessed of our land though we continued to live there and look after it. Today we remember their efforts to restore our land rights.
See the handback brochure.
Find out more about handback.
Read more about the park's history and park management on our corporate site.
Making the land
Our ancestral beings made Uluru and Kata Tjuta and the world as we know it. This is what Tjukurpa teaches us.
Our ancestral beings are in the form of people, plants and animals. Nothing existed before they travelled across this land. They formed the trees, rocks, caves, boulders, cracks and waterholes. These physical features are evidence to us that these events really did take place. They are known as Tjukuritja.
This land is still inhabited by our ancestors and their spirits. We call their journeys across our land iwara. These are sometimes called songlines. You can follow the stories and songs of ancestors along these songlines, sometimes for many hundreds of kilometres.
Find out more about Tjukurpa.
Mala - caring for culture and country
A long time ago, our ancestors, the Mala (rufous-hare wallaby) people travelled to Uluru from the north. They found themselves having to flee kurpany, an evil dog-like creature that had been created and sent from Kikingkura (near the Western Australian border).
Their journey is written across our land as a songline. These important ancestors have left another legacy - to look after the animal we today call mala (rufous-hare wallaby).
These mala once inhabited spinifex grass country throughout Central Australia. Today they are extinct in the wild on the Australian mainland, driven out by European settlement, changing fire regimes and feral predators.
Since 2005 we’ve been running a mala (rufous-hare wallaby) reintroduction program inside our park. We constructed an 170-hectare feral proof enclosure to house 25 of the endangered animals in the hope they would breed and contribute to the long-term survival of the species.
Today we have more than 200 mala in the park, quite a healthy and robust community. It’s a good example of how we are working to protect our cultural and natural heritage.
Find out more about our mala conservation work on our our corporate site.